Future Fishing Guide

IIMG_20150709_193427 hate the slimy scales, the muddy worms and the stinky powerbait. I hate getting out the hook and worrying that we’ve taken too long tossing it back in. I hate standing on the shore, casting for hours without a bite.

But I love seeing my 8-year-old fish. And so I bear through all the things I hate, because I know he loves it – muddy worms and all.

My oldest son is a natural fisherman. I can’t remember when we started going, but I’ve been taking him fishing since he was a tiny boy. We’ve tried most of the local community fisheries. We’ve caught some big ones, we’ve caught some little ones and sometimes we haven’t caught any.

I’ve taught him all he knows about fishing, and now he’s starting to teach me. During the past year he has really started to get good.

Last week he caught five fish within one hour simply by tossing the line out in the muddy water, holding onto the string and yanking the fish ashore the second they bit.

He can sense where they are and what it will take to snatch them.

It was almost frustrating to be fishing next to him. The other family members would barely get our lines out and he’d be reeling in another one. He caught a bunch and we caught none.

But then again, he’s earned it. He’s made himself somewhat of an expert.

When he was little he would stand for hours at the top of our front-yard hill casting into the street. He could make it all the way across to our neighbor’s yard by the time he was three.

Now that he’s older he watches fishing tutorials online. He’s learned from dozens of YouTube videos how to make minnow traps or design his own lures.

Earlier this summer he spent several days trying to catch something in the sewer drain in the center of our culdesac (I didn’t have the heart to tell him there weren’t any fish down there). Then he set up a fishing pole fix it business. He also tried to sell a couple of our neighbors some fresh worm bait.

Last month he took part in a fishing club at the ponds a few blocks from our house. It was so fun to see his eyes light up when he told us about the fish he caught with his club – especially the Koi that got away. I think he told everyone in our entire neighborhood, family and church about that one.

For $20 he got to do a workshop and then go fishing two nights a week with the club. He learned what type of bait to use, how to clean the fish, etc. Then he got to fish with his friends.

At the end of the club session he won a new pole for catching the longest fish. He was on cloud nine.

It’s so fun to see him passionate about something. Something wholesome. Something he’s good at.

I only wish I felt like he was old enough to fish on his own – Not that I don’t want to go with him, but I don’t always have the time and I’m definitely not patient enough to take him fishing alone with his three other siblings. We have to wait until dad can come too.

When we do go together I get to see him at his best and I love it. He smiles and laughs easily. He jumps up and down and shouts, “I’ve got another one.” And there’s no other place he’d rather be.

So bring on the stinky powerbait and the slimy scales, my son’s got talent and passion and I’m not going to stop him.

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